Although it is commonly referred to as a group of islands, it's technically a continent with large sections of it separated by the waters of the Padomaic Ocean.
Having been largely isolated from the rest of Nirn for much of its existence, Yneslea boasts environments, cultures, and practices unique to the various people who have settled it. Despite this, its neighbors to the West (Tamriel) and East (Akavir) have proclaimed their interest in it for so some time now. Despite the Kamal's numerous attempts to conquer the islands for some time now, it was the Empire of Tamriel that succeeded in assimilating them as an official Imperial Territory.
On Yneslea, large segments of time are known as aeons (similar to the eras of Tamriel). To date there are currently Four Aeons, along with the Zero Aeon. To learn more about the Echmeri calendar system (which is the main system used on the islands), read this page.
"At Zero, there was Chaos."
The Zero Aeon is the Echmeri term for the Dawn Era, the indefinite period where time was not yet solidfied. No actual records of this time exists, and it only ended when TOSH fractured into multiple subsets of himself.
"In the First, there was Change."
The First Aeon dealt with the arrival of the Dwemer on Yneslea, the evolution/creation of the Echmer race, and the subsequent disappearance of the Dwarves from the Ynesleaic Archipelago due to the Battle of Red Mountain in Tamriel. The Echmer (this generation and those that came before are commonly referred to as the Protoechi) rose to become the dominant race on the islands shortly after their masters vanished without a trace, reverse-engineering and creating new types of technology. The Law was created during this time (as well as a great deal of beneficial and dangerous magical devices) after years of ongoing war was finally brought to an end.
Shortly after the Dwemer disappeared, the Protoechi had descended into violence. Numerous armies vied for the right to rule the Dweech, the gigantic cavern system they called home. It was only until the three largest armies came to a common understanding and united their forces that the fighting was brutally brought to an end. The Three Generals of these armies created the Council of Dull Chimes, the Echmeri government, as well as forming the first Troika. Five Armies refused to abide by the Council, and waged war for another year until the Troika established them as extensions of the Council in the form of the Penta Wards, their Generals becoming the first High Hypothesians that would finalize the now permanent eight member seat of the Council of Dull Chimes. At this moment in time it is commonly believed that the modern Echmer race emerged.
The rest of the First Aeon is filled with productivity, as the Echmer begin to colonize the Dweech. Some, discontent with life belowground, traveled to the surface to establish simpler villages. The Hyu-Ket were soon discovered, but were subsequently enslaved and utilized as a worker class. With the reluctant aid of the goblins along with their automatons, the Echmer were soon able to complete the constructions of their cities (known as Urbs) and other facilities.
Hrahndeyl, the infamous Echmer mortal scholar, was born during the First Aeon. A member of the Council of Dull Chimes, a theorist, an adventurer, he was banished from Yneslea for his radical views and wandered Nirn for twenty years. He eventually returned to the archipelago, where he spoke of all the amazing things he learned before ascending into godhood in front of all his people and becoming HRAHNDEYL, the ATEDA of Sound. This resulted in a religious reform amongst the Echmer race, whose unique views on the gods due to their history with the Dwemer became even more complex. The End of the First Aeon was marked by the first time a race outside of Yneslea made contact with its natives. But instead of peace tidings, the Kamal only brought destruction.
In the Second, there was Combat."
The Second Aeon was declared when the Kamal unleashed a terrifying blizzard on the Ynesleaic archipelago for an entire year, known as the First Annum of Cold Death. Thousands above and belowground perished when famine and disease rocketed the islands, installing an intense hatred and rage for the Snow Demons of Akavir.
It wasn’t until 2A 35 that the Kamal of Akavir set foot on any island of Yneslea for the first time. They invaded both Yne and Slea at the same time, the former by way of the Hae’macrin Mountains and the latter by way of Urroal. Echmeri records say the fleet was led by General Tala’Faal Yir-Kamal, who was attempting to annex the archipelago under his king. Through superior battle tactics and deployment of their automatons – which the Kamal had never encountered before – the Echmer were able to drive back the invaders. This resulted in a bitter resentment towards foreigners to manifest within the Echo Folk, which would not be helped by the Kamal continuing invasions that they would repeatedly repel.
The Echmer charged out for the first time in their lives against an unfamiliar race and foe, emerging victorious and successfully driving the Kamal back to Akavir. This marked the first of dozens of attempts by the Kamal to conquer the Ynesleaic Archipelago, which was frequent during the Second Aeon.
The Echmer took an interest in the moons Masser and Secunda at the beginning of the Second Era, creating the colony of Chiroptera on the surface of Masser in 2A 59. Their transliminal craft, known as nullbarques, soon became the standard vessel for travel into the Outer Realms for the entire race.
A chance encounter with the Tsaesci resulted in the Echmer creating a trading route with the Akaviri race in 2E 128, trading spices for cream and lore books with a Tsaesci Ambassador showing up once every fifty years to speak with the Council of Dull Chimes. Many villains also arose to plague the islands of Yneslea, ranging from homicidal Echmer sorcerers, vile necromancers, and goblin revolts. The End of the Second Aeon was marked by two events: A false return of mythical Spirit Chief of the Hyu-Ket people resulted in Echmer interference in a civil war amongst the race, as well as all contact with Chiroptera going completely dark and seemingly disappearing from Masser.
"In the Third, there was Conquest."
Because of the crisis with the Hyu-Ket along with the general public and several members of the Council of Dull Chimes deeming the practice of forced labor unbefitting and immoral the act of slavery was eventually abolished entirely in 3A 4. The Hyu-Ket returned to their simple existence, but were fewer and number as well as changed from the centuries of working for the Echmer.
The Echmer would live (relatively) in peace for thousands of years, braving assaults from the Kamal, Tsaesci, and internal strife until the Third Era. During Uriel Septim V’s Akaviri Campaign , the Yneslian islands found themselves being stormed by the Tamrielics which started the Twelvemonth War in 3E 27A. Arrogant of their winnings against the Kamal in the past, the Echmer went out to face their new foe only to be surprised to find a force to be reckoned with waiting for them. Despite fighting valiantly, the Echmer were forced to surrender and signed a Treaty with the Emperor, who met with the Council of Dull Chimes (and also the god-hero HRAHNDEYL according to legend) and annexed the islands as a Tamrielic territory in 3A 279 with the infamous Truce In The East.
After the Akaviri Campaign ultimately failed, the legions largely redrew from the islands. The Echmeri traded their cream with the Empire – which the Tamrielics absolutely adored – along with other supplies for Tamrielic books, scrolls, and animal/plant specimens for study. An Echmer Embassy was built in Cyrodiil and an Echmeri Consul was given a seat on the Elder Council. Echmer technology was also secretly sent to Tamriel at the haste of the Emperor, resulting in faster improvements to Tamrielic devices.
Yneslea remained largely uninhabited by Tamrielics until 3A 425, when the Council of Dull Chimes begrudgingly agreed to foreign settlement of their lands. In 3A 433 the Echmer were also affected by the Oblivion Crisis , with secret Mythic Dawn cultists on Yneslea opening Oblivion Gates on the islands. The Echmer were however able to successfully close the gates with their superior technology and tonal architecture, but suffered heavy losses as well. The End of the Third Aeon was marked by the death of Martin Septim and the dissolution of the entire Septim Dynasty.
"In the Fourth, there was Cause."
With the Septim Empire now gone and all of the government’s it had affected now trying to make sense of the chaos, the Council of Dull Chimes decided it was time to secede. However this was soon postponed when the volcano of Red Mountain erupted in 4A 5 on the island of Vvardenfell in Morrowind, resulting in the Red Year. Thousands died and the entire Morrowind province was heavily damaged.
Then Echmer Consul Sirius immediately sent word to the Council of Dull Chimes to send as many supplies as they could to the refugees. In the first time in recorded history, Echmer ships traveled to mainland Tamriel not for trading or for Empire business, but to help. They made landfall near Blacklight, where they provided crates of medical aid and supplies before sailing back to their homeland for more. The Echmer were not present during the Second Arnesian War, but the provisions they sent were a key component to House Redoran’s victory over the Argonians in Black Marsh.
Yneslea eventually seceded from the Empire in 4A 10, but remained trading partners with the whole of Tamriel in the process. The islands would remain neutral in their dealings with the Empire and the rising Aldmeri Dominion, not inciting favoritism with either party.
The Bleakrock-Yneslea Concord of 4A 20 struck up a trading deal and route between Yneslea and Bleakrock Isle, now under the control of Great House Redoran of the Dunmer people. An Echmeri Exul village was also established on the island, cementing the growing friendship between the Dark Elves and Bat Elves.
Islands of the ArchipelagoEdit
Yneslea is made up of eight islands, which are all connected by the massive underground cavern system known as the Dweech:
Yne is the largest and one of the two main islands of Yneslea, the other being Slea. It was the first landmass of the Imperial territory discovered by the Empire, and thus has more signs of its presence there. It has three regions: the snowy Hae’macrin Mountains, the sandy prairie of the Opal Coast, and the beautiful taiga of the Ambient Littoral.
Slea is one of the two main islands of Yneslea, the other being its sister Yne. It is more exotic and ‘untamed’ compared to its other half, and the settlements here are suited for a harsh and unforgiving environment. It too boasts three regions: the brutal desert known as Gtutur’s Arids, a dense woodland called the Melodic Forest, and the barren but rocky landscape of Urroal.
Hrahn’s Isles is a chain of three closely-knit islets to the north of Yne and Slea, consisting of rolling dirt hills, prickly grass, and small bushes. It is largely uncared for by the Echmer, and only one small Exul settlement persists on it.
Morubixaba is a rather small island to the east of Yne and Slea, home to a group of Exul and Hyu-Ket that live together in peace and harmony unlike those of the other lands, suggesting a cultural schism sometime in ages long since forgotten. The inhabitants also have a different language and society, resulting in the common Echmer observing it intensely. It boasts geography similar to that of Hrahn’s Isles, except having more rainfall.
Elysia is a southern island, and seems to be somewhat of a vacation resort to the Echmer. It has a beautiful, tropical environment and is largely undisturbed by the politics of the other islands. Interestingly, there seems to be home to ancient ruins predating both the Echmer, Hyu-Ket, and the Dwemer’s arrival on Yneslea.
Pasgaviati was once an abandoned island neglected by the Echmer to the west because of its distance, but has been since resettled as a native military outpost ran by both the natives and the Imperial Legion.
Bodies of WaterEdit
The northern portion of water for the islands is known as the Chaotic Sea, which is turbulent and susceptible to whirlpools. The Channel of Tru’Gitet running between Yne and Slea is a lot calmer and smoother, connecting to the Bitter Sea in the south. Many sailors have reported that the landmasses seem to be surrounded by mystical storms and unnatural water occurrences that attempts to deter ships from approaching, and causing those that survive unscathed to arrive several days behind schedule. This phenomenon however is not well recorded and hasn’t been studied extensively.